Most pictures and words from Anthony C Murphy

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


We parked on Washington Street and Fifth. I just went for the first available spot. The last two days of driving around in circles waiting for a free space had me all preemptive. I got out and got the baby out. She was sleeping and sweaty. It was 95 degrees and we were on the shady side of the day. Still here we were in Hoboken looking for the Elysian field of legend. It’s not true that you have to die first. It’s here, or at least a part of it is.

It seems to be recently that as I walk the streets pushing the baby about that we are open to suggestion, available for comment, suckers for advice. I don’t know whether it’s New York/New Jersey specifically but I don’t remember it happening to me before back in England.

Hey, mister, fix her neck! Or… Hey, mister, her hat is slipping! Hey, mister, you should cover her legs! Put something on her feet! Hey, your blanket is twisted!

They shout at me from across streets and from their windows, assuming I am a new father in need of assistance. I don’t ask for it, but I ask for it just by the way I walk I guess. It gets so that it makes me testy and I tell all these busy old women to fuck off under my breath, because it all comes from women of a certain age. They know best.

Then today as we cross Frank Sinatra Boulevard in search of some history I hear a smoky female voice berating me for something I can’t quite catch. I see her then on the opposite side of the street, all bent and knock-kneed, wearing yellow, she’s like a bruised banana. I check the baby quickly as we walk towards her and can see nothing wrong. Still the woman shouts something. The traffic drowns out her voice but I am getting near. She has a hand out, open palm upward, with one long finger like a hawthorn twig pointing at us. I avoid eye contact but am ready to snap at her with some choice cursing if she so much as dares to undermine my parenting. But what she says as we reach the kerb is, “And you’ve got nice socks on!”

I have got socks on it is true. They are not nice though. I don’t understand what she means. I could try to but it would be guesswork and I am busy searching for something else.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


I know Ava Belle
I know Ava very well
I know Ava by her smell
Hell, I know Ava Belle

I know Ava Belle
I know Ava can you tell?
I know Ava and her spell
Hell, I know Ava Belle

I know Ava Belle
I know Ava, hear me yell
I know Ava's why I fell

I know Ava Belle

Thursday, 9 May 2013


I just listened to Peggy Lettermore. There’s so much I don’t understand about the Irish and their voice. Not the brogue they wear easily everywhere they tread. Not that Oirishness. No. Or the Gaelic either. That other language underneath.  There is something there that excludes. It may be a clan thing. It’s something I had always thought was a part of me - tradition, family, culture - and I read and wrote and sang and danced and cried and did my bit, not noticing, until my dad died, that it didn’t need me. And not only did it not need me but it was laughing. Of course in the 80’s and 90’s when all was going well we were tolerated. We got The Pogues. They made sense to me and my dad at the same time. There was a mutual understanding there. He escaped and I wanted to know why when I thought his place must be better than England. But he never told me anything. He never started or joined any Erin go bragh clubs. He wanted to run from all that religion, from those clans, and yet he got trapped in the land of his family’s former captors, and trapped by babies. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Hunched and needy
Like baby gulls
We stalk the street
For sustenance
Stepping gingerly
The once
Tea bags
And broken needles
That spill from brightening bins
In the dwindling dawns of August
 Once we dreamt
Of better days within this
Earthen purgatory
When we were brown and pretty
It was no job
To breathe more and less freely
But now we stalk the streets
Beneath the laughing mooning ball above
In between the raining drops
By the graffitoo shuttered shops
Into the maw
The muscled chops
The Royal Nail
The lifers inside
So lifeless with pride
Good Morningly! grunt their acknowledge
Let out to their wives at eventide
They are always back here stirring their porridge
Will be two hours yet as a coffee-god’s pet
Before we can summon a smile
We keep weather-beaten heads down
In the back of Transits
On old copies of goals extra or extra goals
Or made up goals with moving posts
As the red valkyries descend
From the upstairs garage
Into the yard yawning with boredom
Like the back doors cold open wide
Waiting is time
And labour intensive
And work is last on the mind

A beardy they branded Jumanji walks by
And there’s Dazzer sungover again
And Grizzly Badams with his drizzly voice
And desiccated Ruth with a fag at her chin
And are they as desperate or do they prepare
And are they aware and of course do they care
About this all pervasive attitude
The constant twatting platitudes
For that’s all we hear
Shaven headed voices
Spitting casual brutalities
From their fascicle
There in an element that never forgives
Closed ranks of a herd
But this pack is bird like
Right wing they are
For a working union
A bundle of sour white faces
Who defend their misguide
With persiflage turning
To vicious whispers
And insult camouflaged by
Supposed camaraderie
Banter they call it
The fuckers
Forget diversity
They need dimension
Even Postman Pat had three
Which maybe hard to define
On a flatscreen tv
Although there was more depth in that episode
When he refused to deliver leaflets for the BNP

Friday, 3 May 2013



Coming out of the woodwork
It is a portent
Centipedes eating ants in the bed
This ark has rot
We should not have brought on the termites, Noah!
Get your
Shingle shots
Flu jabs
Anything to make it seem
That you are not giving in
Vote for the mayor
Or don’t
Vote for the other guy
Who won’t
Pucker up for
The apocalypse
Of all places
Doesn’t feel the pinch
Because nothing goes on there
And on and on
And you can’t have an end
When nothing has begun
Nothing has begun again
Thank the flies of the lord
...And whatever they house
God cock that crows for some
For others, king crab louse
Thank the flies
That you live in Ipswich
Which is a metaphor
For any shitty urban sprawl
At least it has its uses
Thank someone somewhere for that
You can have it all
You see
Some of you
When the rest have gone